The Three Degrees of Design

2 Min Read

The goal of design for any project focuses on the end-result having the most efficient and effective processes.

When you have a clean sheet of paper in front of you, use it to your advantage! The intersection of Engineering and Operations is an extremely important component of the design process, and when the parties meet, discuss, and analyze their respective needs, the solution will result in an optimal design and likely cost savings. Integrating Industrial Engineering at the beginning of the design process can yield improvements in both the quality of design as well as the bottom line of a project.

Square footage has a cost, and getting the most value out of that square footage is key to a project’s success. Can you achieve world-class operation and high-performance within an existing building? What size building addition will be required? What are the specifications of new space and will it meet both current and future needs of operations? Looking into operations may help to reduce or remove waste, streamline flow, and keep obstructions to a minimum. It can also help with identification of facility requirements necessary to support the installation of specific manufacturing equipment, selection of the proper material handling devices, and support flexibility and growth of operations.

So what are the Three Degrees of Design?




Here are ten example benefits of using the Three Degrees of Design:

  1. Identifying the need to increase the concrete slab thickness on a mezzanine to support the material handling vehicle weight and dynamic load requirements.

  2. Identifying the need for foundations and specific floor conditions required for installation of manufacturing equipment, including flatness, levelness, and smoothness.

  3. Identifying the necessary clear-height for the installation of the desired storage and equipment systems, allowing early determination for which available buildings for lease should be considered.

  4. Assisting in the choice and placement of facility support equipment, such as HVAC handling units to fit optimally (with operations in mind); designing into the racking profile and layout, so that fork truck aisleways remained unobstructed.

  5. Analyzing historical data and anticipated growth rates to determine the size for a new warehouse or building addition that properly meets the requirements needed for all aspects of the operations, such as raw materials and finished goods storage, order fulfillment systems and the associated material flow.

  6. Suggesting alternatives in building design to provide optimal flow, like an angular wall versus a conventional “L” shaped design.

  7. Discussing the impact of fire protection design choices, with regard to code requirements as well as storage options, cost comparison, impact of growth or SKU proliferation, and reduction in flexibility to adjust load beam spacing or move pallet racking.

  8. Identifying and planning for the means/methods for new equipment delivery and installation in the design of the building, such as new door sizing and placement, delivery with partial assembly options, building panel removal options, or impacts to any existing operations.

  9. Move/renovation planning/phasing to minimize the impact to ongoing manufacturing or distribution operations keeping the focus on the importance of uninterrupted operation.

  10. Focusing on equipment placement to ensure space for raw materials, operator access and ergonomics, fork truck or other material handling flow, access to equipment for cleaning and maintenance, and any other aspects important to the operations.